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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Year in Review 2017

Merry Christmas to all our friends. We are sending Christmas cards, but I wanted to leave our year in review for those of you who are interested in the happenings of the Colorado Sadler clan.

Nick is finishing up his first full calendar year at High Country Executive Search, and I have never seen him happier in his job. He loves his work as an Executive Recruiter, and we have honestly been so blessed by his job, his company, and the people with whom he works. They took a major chance on Nick when they hired him, and he is thriving in this new career! At church, he continues to teach once a month and to be a leader at a support group through church on Thursday nights. He is amazing in his devotion. And at home, Nick is the best dad to our (now) four cuties. Our children love their dad, and Beau walks around everyday saying,"Momma, Daddy at work? Be right back." and "Daddy? My Daddy?" They are the best buddies.

Jen (so me) is now the frantic mother of four, and every day is a grand new adventure. The first half of the year was filled with me getting more and more pregnant, lots of tests as there was some concern over the placement of baby girl's placenta, and then Cami's terrifying and dramatic entrance into this world. Then life in the NICU for (thankfully) just a few weeks, and then a summer filled with trying to balance the big kids and a newborn on oxygen. For now, it feels as if things have settled, and I am doing my best to be a more involved mom this school year. PTO, SAC committee, field trips, and having more of a presence in the big girl's school life has been my focus for the last part of the year. Usually with the little people in tow. We are so blessed to have an amazing school community, and I am doing my best to support that community in any way that I can.

Quincy ended her kindergarten year with a flourish. It felt as if she was really just getting started when the school year ended. She worked hard over the summer to become a little more independent since Mom was preoccupied with new baby a good portion of the time. She also has now lost six teeth, and we are still waiting on four grown up teeth to make their appearance. And then first grade hit, and this girl has had the most amazing school year! She is reading like a champ! She loves math! She comes home at least once a week with a new FIRE sticker (school reward system), and leaves school daily with a huge smile! My momma heart soars!

Tessa spent the last half of her last preschool year dreaming about kindergarten. She loved preschool, but was tired of being home half the day and all day Mondays while big sister was off having grand adventures. Tessa did, however, become Beau's best friend during this time. She is our little mother, and she loves looking after all the people smaller than her. She has the same teacher for kindergarten that Quincy did, and felt comfortable right away in her new environment. She loves to learn, but her friends are the most important part of her school day. She is looking forward to losing a tooth even though none are lose yet.  

Beau has grown so much this year. He's talking like a mad man--adding new words to his vocabulary daily. He loves his sisters, and generally refers to all his people as "My _______." He is fiercely protective of Cami and his mom, but ADORES his Tessa and loves to torment his Quincy. Daddy is his favorite person and he loudly announces Dad's arrival home every day. He finally will stay in nursery at church by himself, and he loves playing with the balls at gymnastics on Mondays. He already takes his role as ONLY BOY very seriously, and I imagine that will only increase as he ages. 

Cami, as you know, is our latest addition. Joining us a bit earlier than expected on May 24th, we have reveled in the miracle that is this little girl. Finally off her oxygen after almost six months with that accessory, she is loving her life tube free! We spend lots of time doing the best we can to make her smile. She loves to babble. She loves to eat, and she is the best snuggler. We are venturing into the world of solid foods, and working with a physical therapist to help her catch up a little with her gross motor skills. She is making great progress and should be sitting unassisted in no time! We love this final addition to our family so very much, and I still stare at her in amazement sometimes overwhelmed by the fact that she is here and healthy. 

We hope that 2017 was an amazing year for you and your families! We look forward to the possibilities that 2018 holds for us all. Merry Christmas! 


The Sadlers

Friday, September 8, 2017


My mom makes a calendar for us every year. She puts together photos comprised of events that took place during that month the year prior. I love this, as it allows me to relish highlights and see what my sibs were up to this time last year as well. This month, Mom included a quote "When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

This day has become a family treasure.

Last year on this day we celebrated the 78th birthday of my Grandpa Gray, and honestly, we all knew it would be the last one we would have with him. Around this time last year, I was compelled to take my family over the mountain one last time to get some extra time in with Grandpa--but we can actually take this story back to six or so months before then.

Grandpa is not the first grandparent I have lost, and sometimes, one of those grandparents will visit my dreams. I had a very real dream where my Gram shared a message with me in a conversation we had--you need to get ready. It felt like a gentle warning and a tender mercy as I still feel lots of guilt over not going to see her when I felt I should before we lost her unexpectedly. Admittedly, when I woke up, I had no idea to what she was referring. Until suddenly I did.

Standing in my kitchen a few days after the dream, I looked out the window and knew. Grandpa. Maybe I started to pay more attention. Or maybe the older adults had just kept how quickly Grandpa was declining a secret until they could not anymore. But all I know is that his health, already not great, seemed to decline rapidly.

So, around this time last year, I NEEDED to be in Grand Junction. So, we went. And we spent some hours at the house. And my kids were so good. And Grandpa laughed and smiled as much as he could manage. I don't know if it was good or purely selfish on my part that we went. I didn't take a single picture of that visit. All I wanted to do was sit close. I wanted to listen to his stories and watch him laugh at his great grandchildren. I needed to hug him and tell him I loved him one last time--face to face.

And I am so glad that I did.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Start of School

As you can imagine, we had a pretty chaotic yet quiet summer this year. Visitor after visitor came and spent time entertaining my big ones while I tended to new baby. But we didn't really get to do much or go lots of places. My kids are the best though, and Quincy, Tessa and Beau spent hours playing together and entertaining me while doing so.

So, now we are at the beginning of the school year. Cami is almost three months old--still on her oxygen--and doing really well. Beau is about to lose his best friend, Tessa, to all day kindergarten, and this mom is afraid that this means that my life is about to become a little crazier keeping up with my energetic two-year-old. We'll survive it just fine, but Beau has already tried to follow sister into school. He even hugged me good-bye on Tessa's first half-day. Sorry, kid. Not your turn yet.

This girl has had a great start to first grade already! We got the teacher we hoped for, and she already knows her because Mrs. Moroze was Q's preschool teacher before moving to first grade last year. So, she knows what to expect. And Mrs. Moroze knows my quirky Quincy. She got a FIRE sticker the first day of school (which is a school-wide reward system) and it seems that every day is better than the last. I think it is wonderful that Quincy is so excited to be a big first grader. She told me that she already feels like a scientist as they are learning about science. She won't get more specific that just science, and when her dad asked what she was learning about in science, her response was, "Uh, science," (Duh, Dad!)

This crazy independent girl is beyond excited to be in school all day just like her big sister. Tessa has been ready for this for so long, and I am thrilled that she loves school so much already. Her teacher is the same teacher Quincy had last year, so Tessa already feels very comfortable with her. Tessa has two half-days to learn how Kindergarten works and then she starts full days. She has friends from preschool in her class, and she is excited to make new friends. On the first day she asked me twice if I could go ahead and leave so she could get down to business. Yep. That's my girl.

We are so proud of these girls. We had a long talk together about being kind and courageous this year. We talked about making friends and how to include everyone. Then, I watched my Q take the hand of her hesitant friend on the first day and march confidently into school. I have watched both my girls run and hug their friends and then turn to introduce themselves to new friends. I am so proud of the little people that they are. Cheers to a glorious new school year!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

So This Thing Happened...

Okay, anyone who is friends with me knows that OBVIOUSLY we had a baby girl--earlier than expected. But, I thought I would go ahead and share the details of our girl's arrival. She made quite the dramatic entrance into the world.

Sunday, May 21, 2017, I sent my sisters a somewhat frantic text message that evening because I had started spotting, and it was a bit unusual looking (I won't share details). They proceeded to talk me down as it could have just been nothing because (here is something no one tells you) sometimes you just bleed FOR NO REASON when you are growing a human. And it is stressful and keeping calm about it is not easy. However, the sisters talked me off my ledge and I shared the fun information with Nick (ah, marriage!). The next day there was a little more of the same, so I checked in with the nurse at my doc's office. We came to the conclusion that there was nothing to really worry about at this point, so I continued to simply monitor.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017. things looked a bit different, and I was feeling very uncomfortable with the change in the look of the very red blood. So, in to the doctor we went. AND ALL THE BABIES WERE BEING BORN. Seriously. All the rooms were full. All the extra rooms were full. I spent the night in the triage room where the bleeding got progressively worse. After an ultrasound where NO evidence of any tearing or placental issues were found, two more steroid shots (just in case), and dinner at 11pm, I woke to the great "when should we have a baby" debate. After a morning of monitoring me and baby, the decision was made to have a baby at 5pm. Then that decision was changed,  and the doc on duty debated waiting until the following morning to ship us off to the OR for my c-section. After much debate and a long talk with me, she decided to go ahead and perform the surgery on Wednesday evening at 8pm.

So, on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 8 pm, as I was still signing consent forms, I was rolled back to the operating room. And as I left Nick outside to wait, my whole being was overcome with an intense sense of absolute terror. It took all the willpower I had NOT to jump down and try to run away. However, I slid onto the operating table, squeezed a pillow and my nurse through the spinal, lay down, threw up, and waited for Nick to come sit by my head. He will tell you a very different story, I am sure, but after what felt like a very long time, a SILENT, FLOPPY, GHOST-WHITE baby was rushed to the corner of the OR. I watched in shock as the nurses frantically worked on my baby as I whispered over and over again, "PLEASE cry, please cry, please cry" until there was a quiet sound from her. They stabilized her and rolled her past me while saying, "Look at your baby. I need to get her out of here."

I was taken back to my room for all post-op procedures when I was visited later by the neonatologist who wanted to have her air lifted to another hospital for treatment. You see, I/we had experienced a pretty severe placental abruption. Basically, my placenta was separating from the uterine wall, and to make matters worse, it also just kind of fell apart (split in two) as they were pulling her out. She lost a crazy amount of blood and received FOUR transfusions that first night. FOUR! The concern then obviously becomes the amount of oxygen she didn't have, so she was sent to a specialist who turned her into a baby Popsicle. As in, her core temp was cooled for 72 hours to allow her brain and organs to heal while in a slower state. This is really a rather remarkable thing, and it is something that has only recently been done to babies as early as 34 weeks gestation. Which means we barely made it.

You guys. The miracle that is my youngest child was made possible through miraculous event piled upon miraculous event. I try not to say it often, but we ALMOST lost her. And I just can't...

We spent 17 days in the NICU: three as a popsicle, eight long days until I could hold her for the first time, and nine days learning how to eat. She came home on (and is currently still on) a little bit of oxygen. She eats well. She sleeps well. She is getting all the love from all her people, and we are so blessed, so happy, so grateful for it all.

I was reminded that angels attend to and watch over our sweet babies--in the form of nurses, doctors, and actual angels. I promise you that the NICU is watched over closely and attended to regularly.

So, as we love hard to and put this ordeal behind us, I am happy to introduce Camille Jay--our pretty little caboose.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Be Brave

Courage is found in unlikely places. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

It has taken me some time to decide what, exactly, I wanted to focus on in this 2017 year. However, in a conversation I had with a friend of mine--one of those crazy soul mate kind of friends with whom I have never actually met face to face--it occurred to me that it is time for me to stop living the life I have been and focus on really living my life. I am sure I have said it to people a thousand times, but I will type it again here: I have been in survival mode/barely getting by for far too long. The biggest crisis of my life thus far happened when I was just a tender 32, and I JUST TURNED 37, for goodness sake! It is high time that I dug myself out of the hole I have been hunkered down in and figure out this life thing! I am ready to have FUN again. I don't want to be a casual observer anymore. I don't want to watch other people have the time of their lives while I hide in my house under the guise of needing to always take care of my children. Do you know how happy they are (well, minus Beau, but he is clingy boy these days) when the momma leaves them to play with someone else? THEY LOVE IT! 

I'm rambling...honestly though, how does a person actually DO this? How do I become braver in my life? How do I convince myself in the moment to take risks? Will I remember to say yes when my first instinct is to say no? When doubts and fears start to take over--which they obviously easily do--will I be able to push them away? 

My half-life (yes, I know that sounds rather Voldemort-ish) needs to come to an end. I'm a pretty fascinating person with a really fascinating story to share. I deserve all the good things, but good things don't just happen when you are sitting around waiting for them. I need to be an active participant in life. In the world. In my community. Good grief, you guys. I am going to be a freaking mother of four this year! You cannot be a mother of four and be boring. You just can't! 

So, I will do my best to update the blog better this year about all the really fabulous, terrifying, exciting and fascinating adventures I am going to have this year. Yes, pregnant and all. This is happening!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It Has Been So Long...

And I wish I had more to say! We have been super busy in the business of growing/playing/learning around this joint! So, let me offer a brief update on each family member.

Nick: Happy. Home. New job--again, but this one is a keeper. He is so busy, and while I hear every single day that he doesn't have enough hours in the day--he loves what he is doing, and he is back in a place where they recognize his potential and love him. I am SO glad. Life is much better when he leaves daily to head to a job he enjoys that keeps him challenged.

Jen: LuLaRoe is busy. The kids are super busy. The house is chaos--but manageable. So, you could say that everything is peachy-keen, jelly-bean. I am headed to a fun pop-up this evening, and I really need to load my car, so I am blogging instead. Don't worry. I still have time.

Quincy: Kindergarten life is the best life. She LOVES school. Her teacher. Her classroom. Her friends. She is learning so much, and I love to hear all about school every day. And, I get an earful every single day. She is growing leaps and bounds, and I have to say that as much as I love this stage, the sassy glimpse I get into her teenage years is a bit frightening. Sigh. She's mine.

Tessa: Tessa really just wonders why she can only go to preschool for 1/2 a day four times a week. She loves it, and now that Quincy is gone a full day five days a week, she sees no need to be wasting time at home. Seriously. She starts to ask me at 8:15 if it is time for preschool yet (11:45 is start time) and doesn't stop until we are grabbing her back pack. Her teacher is wonderful, and she is a friend and a preschool leader this year. She has great friends, and her favorite part of preschool is bringing something to share. Which she can do everyday.

Beau: Finally weaned at almost 16 months. Finally walked at 16 months. Still spends most nights in our bed. He loves to talk, and while his main form of communication is still pointing and grunting (he is a total caveman), he says, thank-you, bye-bye, momma, dad, and trash. He will sign please and all done. He makes a few animal sounds--but eventually every animal just sounds like a dog.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Blog Challenge #8: A Skill or Talent I Wish I Instantly Had

Okay. Really. There are SO MANY talents I wish I instantly had. Like being able to automatically command a room or always being able to say the right thing or being approachable. I see these as being talents, but really the talent I wish I had more than anything in the world is the talent and gift of music...

Yes, I am fairly musical. I can carry a tune and minimally play the piano and the clarinet. I understand that this is more than many have been blessed with, and I am grateful. I love music. I love to sing. I love to dance with my children. I love to plink out a song on the piano. I love it.

However, I wish I could instantly sit down and play any song on the piano. I wish I could compose. I wish I could write killer lyrics. I wish I could play many instruments. I wish I could play the piano, the violin, the guitar, and more! I would love to be one of the blessed ones who can express themselves through music all the time. I know people like this. I'm related to people like this.

This is the talent I would love to instantly have, and I would love to be able to use that magical talent as a catalyst for good.